Yesterday X-37B space plane returned from lasting for 718 days mission and performed flawless landing at Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.
This mission sets new record of flight duration for unmanned X-37B space plane designed and manufactured by Boeing Defense, Space & Security for U.S. Air Force. With 718 days X-37B managed to bet record of USA-240 mission lasting for 674 days; last time X-37B was on Earth on 20 May 2015 when it was launched on the top of the Atlas V from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.
As mission was classified, USAF still avoids to give any more details in spite of announcing that it was full success. Still most common assumptions mentioned about extended tests of electric propulsion installed inside cargo compartment of X-37B.
In spite of impressive duration of this mission it was important also due the completely another reason. previously X-37 were landing at Cape Canaveral. This time for the first time X-37 landed at Shuttle Landing Facility at Kennedy Space Center. This airfield was used previously for landing for Space Shuttles until end of the program in 2011. In following years it was commercially utilized for among others as a raceway for street cars. Luckily this historically important place returned to service and hopefully will be utilized in following missions of X-37 space planes.